Living in Rexdale
The Rexdale neighbourhood is buffered by the picturesque West Humber River Valley to the north while an industrial corridor forms the southern boundary. Rexdale’s housing stock is very diverse with owner occupied single-family houses located on the interior of the neighbourhood and subsidized and rental housing located on the periphery of this community.
History of Rexdale
Rexdale was still farmland in the 1950’s when developer Rex Heslop began the land assembly that led to the building of this neighbourhood. Heslop predicted that the completion of Highway 401 and the creation of jobs at the nearby Toronto International Airport would bring a strong demand for houses in Rexdale. Heslop’s prediction proved to be correct as the Rexdale subdivision was sold out in a relatively short period of time between the mid 1950’s and the early 1960’s. The former Township of Etobicoke granted certain concessions to Heslop on the condition that he also develop the farmland around what is now Rexdale Boulevard. Etobicoke wanted this land changed from rural to industrial use to help ease the rising residential tax rate in the Township. Heslop was more than willing to accommodate Etobicoke’s demands, realizing that more industry meant more jobs and therefore more buyers for his Rexdale homes. Upon its completion the Rexdale industrial area would become one of the city’s largest industrial corridors.
Homes in Rexdale
Rexdale’s winding streets are well shaded by mature trees. The front lawns are meticulously maintained and include a variety of smaller ornamental trees. The mix of housing here includes raised and ranch-style bungalows, contemporary style bungalows with attached car-ports, split-level homes, storey-and-a-half houses, semi-detached houses, and basic two-storey detached houses. The houses in the Kipling Heights subdivision east of Kipling Avenue were built mostly in the mid to late 1950’s while the houses west of Kipling date mostly from the early 1960’s. There are a number of properties located at the north end of this neighbourhood that feature spectacular views of the West Humber River Parkland. Rexdale also contains a large number of walk-up apartment buildings and multi-plex dwellings in the Islington Avenue and Rexdale Boulevard area. These include publicly and privately owned buildings that provide affordable rental apartments.
Lifestyle in Rexdale
The Rexdale Plaza located off Islington Avenue at Rexdale Boulevard is anchored by a large Asian supermarket and contains a nice mix of independent and franchise stores. This plaza also features a women’s health club, professional offices, a language centre for new Canadians and the Northern Elms Public Library. The shopping corridor along Rexdale Boulevard is an interesting mix of retail stores, car dealerships, a big box store, a bowling alley and professional offices. North on Kipling Avenue you will find a myriad of fast food franchise restaurants and two neighbourhood shopping plazas that cater to the everyday needs of the Rexdale homeowners. The Woodbine Centre located at Rexdale Boulevard and Highway 27 features nearly two hundred specialty shops. This shopping centre is also known for its popular indoor amusement park that is highlighted by an antique carousel, a ferris wheel, a train, and a children’s play village.
Recreation in Rexdale
There are plenty of recreational opportunities for the whole family in Rexdale. The Sunnydale Acres, Rexdale, and Rexlington Parks all contain wading pools, Falstaff Park has an outdoor swimming pool. Tennis courts are located at Sunnydale Acres, Flagstaff and Rexlington Parks. The tennis courts at Rivercrest School are used as an artificial ice rink in the wintertime. The Rexdale baseball league operates out of several Rexdale parks and offers T-Ball and house league programs for children. Esther Lorrie Park and Kipling Heights Park, located at the north end of Rexdale, offer spectacular views of the West Humber River Valley. These parks provide access to the West Humber Parkland that is highlighted by a paved trail used extensively by walkers, joggers and bicyclists. The West Acres Seniors Centre, located at 65 Hinton Road, hosts a variety of special events and programs including monthly birthday parties, dances, field trips, bowling and crafts. This recreation centre is also the home of the Rexdale Lawn Bowling Club. Horse racing fans are just minutes from the Woodbine Race Track located at the west end of this neighbourhood off Rexdale Boulevard. This horse track features thoroughbred racing during the daytime and harness racing in the evenings.
Transportation in Rexdale
Motorists are less than five minutes from a network of commuter highways including the 401, 427, 409 and 27 highways. Many of these highways provide direct routes to the Pearson International Airport which is located just a few minutes from Rexdale.